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Precision and price decide it at DSV Amsterdam

The international transport and logistics group DSV is a foremost player in the global arena. The company has regional branches in over 60 countries around the globe and is divided into three divisions: DSV Road, DSV Air & Sea and DSV Solutions. DSV Road has, in Europe, over 17,000 trucks on the road. DSV Air & Sea is good for 71,000 TEU of marine cargo and 25,000 tonnes of air freight per year. Last but not least, DSV Solutions is a highly valued partner for logistical solutions, with 130 warehouses and a total surface area of 2,200,000 m².

DSV Amsterdam is part of DSV Solutions and specializes in logistics activities in the broadest sense of the term. Specially for the storage and handling of cocoa, cocoa butter and chocolate liquor, on the one hand, and for the storage of diverse merchandise, on the other, DSV Amsterdam had a distribution centre built in the Amsterdam docklands in 2011.

From April to July 2011, Stow, by order of DSV Amsterdam, fitted out 4 state-of-the-art warehouses, the total surface area of which corresponds to almost six football pitches. A sizeable project. But Stow does have experience of projects of that order.

In warehouses 1 and 2, DSV Solutions installed an automated system, intended for the storage of semi-finished cocoa products for one specific customer. In warehouses 3 and 4, it’s a case of conventional warehouses for storing diverse non-durables.

Warehouses 1 and 2 had to meet some very specific requirements. Products stored there include cocoa beans, cocoa butter and cocoa, packed in big-bags and sacks which are stacked on pallets. Owing to the flammable nature of these products, very strict safety requirements apply there. Cocoa, for example, does not burn but can smoulder for a very long time and is, therefore, difficult to store. If problems arise, the oxygen must be extracted from the storehouse as quickly as possible. This means that the presence of workers between the pallet racking is best avoided. That’s why the company opted for standard pallet racks with automated order picking via remotely-controlled, very narrow-aisle trucks and a precise, well-conceived guide rail.

Projects & Engineering Manger of DSV Amsterdam, Pascal Eijkelenbergh, stresses that the guide rail in this system listens very closely: “The tiny tolerance range for the guide rail is of crucial importance. Precision makes the difference here. It really is a matter of millimetres. But Stow’s specialists accomplished their task without any difficulty, in joint consultation with our people. We had extra requirements too regarding the max. deflection of the girders and the FEM standards. But, on that score too, our requirements were met. To everyone’s satisfaction.”

Compared to 1 and 2, warehouses 3 and 4 featured a fairly conventional yet equally important racking system. More specifically, a standard shelving system with mesh shelving for storing a wide range of merchandise. All processes here are done conventionally using standard reach trucks.

So what - in DSV Amsterdam’s view - are the main plus-points of the solutions that it was offered? Eijkelenbergh: “Price was clearly the main determinant in our choice to go with Stow. Nevertheless, the positive experiences that we gained with them on past projects also entered into it. We knew that Stow delivers quick, reliable and tailored solutions. And here, at DSV, we cannot but be happy with that.”

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